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 Post subject: web site aims?
PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 7:58 pm 
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i'm back to trying sort out things post-Beltane.

so, a few people have said they've changed their minds on various points. i want to reconfirm our aims so we don't piss any effort into the wind.

splash page with a bimonthly changing image linking to external sites - separate? at the top of a news blog? other? some people wanted the first option, then the second. i'm still worried that no-one will contribute images and i'd like to not bother with this idea for now, or at least leave it until later.

also, what is the difference between the scrollyness of the old site vs. the tumblr one? i can't tell.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:49 pm 
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Splash page - bad if it has no actual content.

I did try explaining this in the Meeting of Hell :/ Maybe this analogy would have helped:

Quote:
Jared said, "When we have clients who are thinking about Flash
splash pages, we tell them to go to their local supermarket and
bring a mime with them. Have the mime stand in front of the
supermarket, and, as each customer tries to enter, do a little
show that lasts two minutes, welcoming them to the supermarket
and trying to explain the bread is on aisle six and milk is on
sale today.


(from http://www.marketingsherpa.com/sample.c ... entID=2529)

News blog -- great in principle. But we need to have a definite answer to the question: who will update it and how often? A new blog whose top post is older than a week looks like crap. The web is a monster that you have to keep feeding.

> also, what is the difference between the scrollyness of the old site vs. the tumblr one? i can't tell.

HAHAHA.

Yes. Can we get an answer on that from JaneChris?


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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:30 pm 
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The tumblr site already has a collection of cool images that it cycles through at the top of the page.

Rather than a splash page, I think we could do well with a blog or news-style front page but that has a big banner with nice-looking imagery and basic static information at the top, the regularly updating blog-like information below. Instead of clicking through to 'blog' the user just has to scroll down. But the first blog post(s) will be "above the fold", i.e. they'll be partially in view even before the user scrolls down any, so they can see right away that there is something to get by scrolling. Like the Ten Tracks site that Milk linked to, but Ten Tracks top area is way too big, the blog bit is not above the fold. Implementing this would just be a case of modifying or making a new tumblr theme. Alternatively, I'm completely fine with a blog with a sidebar as we have right now.

I don't know who is doing it but the current tumblr site is getting updated pretty frequently. The calendar is always up to date, and there is a lot of stuff in the archive already. I think the key was just having a site that looked nice and that was very quick and easy to update. I wanted to have a group or at least a single volunteer who is responsible for being the website 'curator', making sure it gets updated frequently, making sure the content is of good quality, and getting the right people doing the updates (showing them how if necessary), i.e. the curator shouldn't being the one doing all the updates him/herself. Note that the curator role is not a computer geek role but a content and people-person role. I'm not sure if the current site has such a person or not but it seems to be working anyway. Aside from the curator(s), I think the people who actually make posts to the site will change often over time as new volunteers come and go.

About the scrolliness thing: IIRC it was Jane who brought up that she didn't like the scolliness of the old site. Some people agreed. One person who did not agree and who actually said he was in favor of scrolliness was Chris. Chris made the new site. That is why the new site has scrolliness. Now lets never hear of it again.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:46 pm 
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catalina has complained that the tumblr site is annoying to update. while the interface is smoother than the basic drupal setup, it requires more work than the previous drupal site as things have to be copied and pasted between tumblr and google calendar, then tumblr takes its time to reaggregate the events info back into the sidebar.

while i've not had the energy as of late and personalities have clashed, i have ideas on how to make the drupal interface similarly 'shiny' to the tumblr one, and as easy to use, natch, and shall be liaising with catalina and other volunteers in the next few weeks to make sure their views are taken into consideration. if anyone wants to contribute, as in, sit down with me and go over what they post and how the workflow could be bettered, please contact me directly.

the splash graphic idea, at least for the top of the front news page, is not going to be a primary focus until the essential work is completed on the reworked drupal site.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:48 pm 
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As the coiner of the word "scrolliness" I will reiterate for the cacklers amongst.

Yeah, I still think the site is scrolly. And I'd like to see it not scrolly, as I've said. In places like this: viewtopic.php?f=80&t=7461

I would like to see a landing page. Not with flash, duh, because then all our I-pad hipster fans won't be able to access it. Recent stats have shown that all creative people love macs.

even if steve jobs IS an asshole

Anyyyway (sorry, porn, distraction, computer, interweb, argh!)

Here are some more analogies:

Saying splash pages are useless without changing content is like saying that houses shouldn't have hallways or office buildings shouldn't have reception areas or that the Hesse's Steppenwolf shouldn't have had the corridor and doors, he should have just been thrown straight from room to room. A well designed splash page is more like instead of heading through the automatic supermarket doors straight into a giant pyramid of baked beans, you enter into a softly carpeted Bedouin's palace and his youngest virgin daughter takes off your shoes, takes your hand, and walks you to the aisle and puts the beans in your basket for you. You see?

In other news, I would love to see something easily navigational like this*

Sorry. I had an actual point to make, it's just that this website discussion gets me ridiculous. Lynne was saying earlier that Noe was a computing genius, no? Maybe he can get on board with helping update web stuff and maybe he could help make some splash that we could agree on/like? I would like to come and chat about these things. And I think chris is his mentor, so this could be good?

*this is a joke.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Em... Noe isn't into the technical side of computing - he's far more into graphic design.

But yes, Chris is his Project Supervisor, so maybe everyone could work together to create something lovely that we all like?!

Ah, that is the dream anyway!!!


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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:54 pm 
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but it is design we need, eh?

yes, let's all get together and make nice things happen!

can you tell how many cups of coffee were drunk before that previous post...???
x

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:12 pm 
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while digital graphic design can be very closely related to web design in that you can use graphics on a web page, natch, the actual process of putting a website theme together requires more knowledge of how websites work at the code (css, html) level.

noe has worked at a web design firm, but, as i've understood so far, in the capacity of creating graphics that are then used by someone else, though i believe he has good experience of the process.

i have a basic understanding of css & html, and can make wee changes, but by far not enough to do things from scratch well or quickly, which is why i've been trying to bring in new volly talent so we can fit together all the skills required to do a grand job.

i'm very happy to speak to noe about his involvement, but i've only just, in the last week or so, found the will to try and coordinate things again after beltane and other stresses.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:56 pm 
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It does need to be a collaboration between a graphic designer and a coder (assuming your graphic designer can't code) but the problem is 99% graphic design, the code for a simple static front-page should be very easy.

Maybe we can get Noe to work on a theme for the blog?

Here#s an example of the kind of thing I'd like:

http://newyorker.tumblr.com/

Very nice graphic banner at the top with some navigation links in it (not too many), a little static information (about this blog, etc.) under the banner, followed by curated dynamic content (blog posts) that are just above the fold. Overall a very simple site that lets the content stand out.

I've played with tumblr themes before, from a code point of view it's very easy to write one like this even from scratch, about as simple as it could be, we're talking no more than a couple of hours, but making the graphic-design decisions and creating the graphics for it is 99% of the job.

My dream would be to change the theme of the blog every few months with a new one done by a new artist each time, like the murals.

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:44 pm 
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Quote:
My dream would be to change the theme of the blog every few months with a new one done by a new artist each time, like the murals.

like.


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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:12 am 
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Its worth mentioning the archive page on present site which is mega .

http://forestcafe.tumblr.com/archive

also heres another site with with super archive

http://bookshelfporn.com/archive

I was thinking that the front page could be something like the archive . with 7 days worth of events on it in similar format .It really good way of having lots of info on a page .

martin

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:00 am 
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Its worth adding i have no problem with scrollyness and found the present site to be pretty useful , possibly the most useful ive seen since this one

http://web.archive.org/web/200412040809 ... uk/who.php

and the reason why i mention the archive is that it would be shame to lose such a great feature .


martin

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 Post subject: Re: web site aims?
PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:44 pm 
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Quote:
I was thinking that the front page could be something like the archive . with 7 days worth of events on it in similar format .It really good way of having lots of info on a page .


Good idea! This is very easy to do if we want to do it, it's just a case of changing our tumblr theme to a grid-style one, like these:

http://safe.tumblr.com/theme/preview/8951

http://travesse.tumblr.com/

http://safe.tumblr.com/theme/preview/10625

...there are many.

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Ha! I have a real laser absolutely positioned in my hand!


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